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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jul 15, 2020

A man described by authorities as a leader of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division admitted in federal court in Alexandria, Va., on Tuesday that he harassed minorities and journalists by calling police to their homes and offices.

John Cameron Denton, 26, of Montgomery, Tex., while pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to make interstate threats, agreed with a federal judge that he had “expressed white supremacist views” and was “motivated by racial animus.” He admitted in a statement of facts that he targeted a reporter for ProPublica “because they exposed his real identity and participation in Atomwaffen Division.”

Read more: Washington Post

An Islamist terror group in Mozambique is staging increasingly sophisticated and destructive attacks on oil facilities and government targets this year. Its connections with Islamic State may be growing tighter, according to a report published Monday by data analytics company Babel Street.

The attacks are part of a three-year uprising in the country that has turned markedly more violent this year. Already, 447 people have died in attacks in 2020, a faster pace than last year, which saw 660 deaths in 309 attacks, the Babel Street report said, citing the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project.

Tactics recently used by the terror group, called Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah, suggest a growing relationship with the Islamic State and other terror groups.

Read more: Homeland Security Today

Facebook accounts linked to the Islamic State group (ISIS) are still finding ways to evade detection on the social media platform, a new report claims.

One network's tactics included mixing its material with content from real news outlets, such as recorded TV news output and the BBC News theme music.

It also hijacked Facebook accounts, and posted tutorial videos to teach other Jihadists how to do it.

Facebook said it had "no tolerance for terrorist propaganda".

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), which carried out the study, tracked 288 Facebook accounts linked to a particular ISIS network over three months.

The group behind them was able to exploit gaps in both the automated and manual moderation systems on Facebook, to generate tens of thousands of views of their material.

Read more: BBC News

Man faces terrorism charge after allegedly making threatening calls

A Nashville man has been charged with terrorism after being suspected of making threatening phone calls on Tuesday morning to the Department of Emergency Communications and a crisis hotline.

Police said the man, identified as Joshua W. Jones, 30, called the DEC non-emergency line at 4:15 a.m. and allegedly made threatening statements toward Nashvillians, including police officers. At 8:30 a.m. he allegedly called Mobile Crisis and threatened their employees.

Jones is also suspected of making threatening calls in May and June. Recent communications from him have been increasingly threatening and specific, including naming locations where he intended to harm people.

Read more: WSMV (Nashville)

Last Thursday, a man was arrested in Mt. Lebanon for having more than 30 improvised bombs and several detonators in his Mercedes. According to his criminal complaint, Whitehall resident Kurt Cofano was arrested for possession of homemade bombs and in connection to online threats he made. This included threatening to “blow up” the Treasury Department in Harrisburg and “go to the CIA headquarters in [Washington] D.C. and take out as many [expletives] as I can before I get gunned down,” according to Whitehall Police, who assisted in the case.

But what hasn’t been reported yet are other online threats apparently made by Cofano, including threats targeting Black Lives Matters protesters. Not to mention Cofano’s other apparent social media posts include sharing right-wing YouTube channels and praising President Donald Trump. Cofano’s apparent Facebook page profile was also changed in April of last year to a picture of Trump signing an executive order.

Read more: Pittsburgh City Paper